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Battleship histories. Royal naval battleship HMS Warspite. Battleship website dedicated to the history of HMS Warspite from launch to participation in major wars also notice board for families of ex-crew of HMS Warspite.

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in  the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

(Photograph shows HMS Warspite, HMS Cardiff and HMS Ceres at Malta).

Displacement: 29,700   Speed: 23.0 knots   Compliment: 950 and up to 1,220 in 1918

Armament: Eight 15-inch guns in pairs and fourteen 6 -inch guns.  Two 3 inch Anti Aircraft Guns in 1917, two 4-inch anti aircraft guns.

HMS Warspite, 1918.

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HMS Warspite, 1913.

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HMS Warspite, 1924.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1939.

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HMS Warspite, August 1943.

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HMS Warspite being broken up at Prussia Cove, April 1949.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite pictured c.1933.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite serving with the Mediterranean fleet

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite on rocks near Penzance

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite with HMS Barham, HMS Assistance and HMS Volunteer at Genoa, 1920's.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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Crew of HMS Warspite at Malta, c.1930s.

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Charles and Horace Cave with family. One of these men served on HMS Warspite.

Crew members of HMS Warspite 1938Frederick Trudgett , extreme right. Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.  

Group of crew members of shore leaveFrederick Trudgett, first sailor on left.  Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.

Photos in this section generously contributed by Stephen Wyles, whose grandfather, George Wyles,  was the Diver aboard the Warspite until the Battle of Crete, where he lost a leg.  If you know any of the people in these photographs, please let us know at OUR MAIL BOX

Some of the crew at the bow of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

More crew of the Warpsite, George Wyles back middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite, with George Wyles in the middle of the front row.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles on the right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles - Navy diver of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and another of the crew of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles recovering in hospital.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite.  George Wyles kneeling, bottom right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Crew of the Warspite recovering in hospital after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles with two shipmates of the Warspite.  George is in the middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

HMS Warspite at Malta.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Looking out from HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and other crew of the Warspite thanking the nurses who helped them to recover after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite on deck.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite at Narvik.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

 

The following is a poem which was found in the possessions of Thomas Samuel Austin by his son Ianthe Exall:

 

Have you ever heard of the “Warspite” and how she made her name,

How she smashed the German Army near the wide Catania Plain,

The Herman Goering Regiment was badly mauled that day,

When the “Warspite” used her 15”, for the Eight she cleared the way.

Then came the day of invasion, the 5th.on Italy’s soil,

Battled with desperation, their object nearly foiled,

By “Tiger Tanks” and Pancers, who were waiting, so it seemed,

When into the Bay of Salerno, the “Warspite” slowly steamed.

She swung around and waited until she got in range,

Then with a noise like thunder, her 15” spoke again.

We had our own observer, a captain of Royal Marines,

And he shouted with glee, only he could see

How the tide of the battle had changed.

There were tanks and troops together smashed up like they never had been,

More terrible wreckage and carnage never before had been seen.

General Clark of the gallant 5th. Army, there on the field

Thanked the ”Old Lady” in a signal, for the lives of his men she’d redeemed.

Then she did another bombardment at a standstill, to make her aim sure,

And the fall of the shell was perfect, no guns aim had ever been truer.

It must have been ‘hell’ for the Germans, as the shrapnel just blew them away,

Then a bomb came down from the heavens, it was 2000lbs. maybe more

And smashed right down by the funnel, we were only two miles from the shore.

Right down through her decks it travelled, a rocket bomb was its name,

We lost some good chums, all good shipmates, Hard luck, it was War it’s no game.

She shuddered and lurched as it struck her, for a minute she couldn’t be seen

As the debris shot up towards heaven, closely followed by white scalding steam.

We all thought the “Old Lady” was finished, a true blood, she proved it that day,

As the tugs raced out to her rescue, she lurched up again, to her keel.

Under tow she set out for Malta, for six days and nights at 4 knots,

And the lads did plenty of thinking, especially the wounded in cots,

T’was a nerve wracking strain for the lads there, true Britons they stuck to their guns,

And the engine room branch worked like Trojans, all spattered in oil, twas no fun.

Down thro the Straits of Messina, the “Old Lady” made her way,

We were all sure then that she’d make it,

That she’d live to fight on another day.

It’s all over now, we’re not sorry, to our homes we’re now on our way,

But I’ll always be proud of the “Warspite” , God Bless her, she once won the day.

Author Unknown


HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders.


HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders.

HMS Ramillies and Warspite manoeuvre into position off the coast of Normandy. The major battleships of the Home Fleet, with their massive guns which could deliver gunfire with pinpoint accuracy to 17 miles. they proved invaluable on the day of the biggest seaborne land invasion in history.
Item Code : DHM0536HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders. - Editions Available
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Glory Days by David Shepherd.


Glory Days by David Shepherd.

HMS Queen Elizabeth coming out under full power in a stormy sea from Weymouth on exercise during the period between 1927 and 1934. She is followed by her sisters, HMS Warspite and HMS Royal Sovereign.
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HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman


HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman

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Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter by Ivan Berryman.


Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter by Ivan Berryman.

The potential value of aircraft at sea had been proven as early as the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and many experiments were undertaken to provide all significant warships with their own aircraft for spotting and reconnaissance purposes. One solution widely adopted was the fitting of flying-off platforms to the main guns, as demonstrated here, as a Sopwith 1½ strutter is launched from HMS Warspite in 1919.
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HMS Warspite, Shooting from the Hip by Randall Wilson.


HMS Warspite, Shooting from the Hip by Randall Wilson.

HMS Warspite is shown in action during the 2nd battle of Narvik, April 1940.
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The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton.


The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton.

The Anatomy of the Ship series provides documentation of individual ships and ship types. The books are illustrated with line drawings, both the conventional type of plan as well as explanatory views, with fully descriptive keys. These are supported by technical details and a record of the ships service history. HMS Warspite was arguably one of the finest capital ship designs of all time. Warspite and her four sister ships of the Queen Elizabeth class were the prototypes of the modern fast battleship, the ultimate development of the Dreadnought type. Warspite had one of the most active and successful fighting careers. Her service spanned two generations from Jutland in 1916, the last great surface engagement between battle fleets, where she received many hits, to the dawn of the missile age (she was badly damaged by a guided bomb in 1943) with battle honours that also included Narvik, Matapan and the D-Day landings. The Old Lady, as she was affectionately known during World War II, w.........


More Text...
Item Code : BK9212The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton. - Editions Available
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HMS Kelly by Robert Taylor.


HMS Kelly by Robert Taylor.

HMS Kelly leaving the Grand Harbour, Malta in 1941 with HMS Warspite in the background. HMS Kellys captain was Lord Mountbatten.
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HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman.


HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman.

Popularly known as The Old Lady, Warspite was launched on 26th November 1913 and was still fulfilling a crucial role at the end of World War II. Even after being paid off, she escaped being broken up by going aground at Mounts Bay whilst on tow to the breakers yard. During the two world wars, Warspite accumulated fourteen Battle Honours including Jutland May 1916. She is shown in company with HMS Royal Sovereign in the Mediterranean in May 1940 when she was Fleet Flag.
Item Code : DHM1481HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman. - Editions Available
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Original painting by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.


HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.

The greatest naval battle of the First World War took place on the 31st of May and the 1st of June 1916, near the Danish province of Jutland. It was the first and only sea battle between the British and German fleets, and certainly proved to be the clash of the Titans that the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had long planned. Decisive victory was claimed by both sides, but, desperately fought though it was, the outcome was indecisive. The Royal Navy suffered higher losses in both men and ships, but the German fleet never ventured out of harbour to seek battle again. During the daylight fighting HMS Barham, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, lead the 5th Battle Squadron (Valiant, Warspite and Malaya) and is seen here at 4.50pm exchanging with Hippers battle-cruisers to the south.
Item Code : DHM1456HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders. - Editions Available
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Motley Crew by Tim Fisher.
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During the early 1930s, Imperial Airways of London introduced to its European and Eastern routes the HP42, an enormous four-engined Handley Page biplane carrying up to 38 passengers at a sedate 100mph.  For the first time air travellers could enjoy Pullman comfort, the wicker-work chairs finally being dispensed with.  Eight of these outstanding aircraft were built and operated from 1931 to the start of the Second World War.  The European services were flown by the four known as the Heracles class with fleet names Horatius, Hengist and Helena.  The Hannibal class with Horsa, Hanno and Hadrian serviced the Empire routes.  They accumulated over 10 million miles of peacetime operations wthout harm to a single passenger or crew member.  Safety became their byword. Depicted here is Horatius, bound for Paris from Croydon.  What a sight to behold, truly a galleon of the clouds.
Croydon Departure by Gerald Coulson.
Half Price! - £40.00
 A swordfish from HMS Warspite on patrol off the coast of Egypt, near the port of Alexandria.

Out of Alex by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £35.00
 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
Half Price! - £60.00

Two  Me109s of Adolf Gallands famed JG26 breaking away after a head on attack against Johnnies Johnsons Spitfire formation.

Combat over the Pas de Calais by Simon Smith.
Half Price! - £90.00
 The pilot of a Fairey Swordfish MKII guides his aircraft towards the landing ramp of HMS Victorious following a sortie in the Mediterranean Sea 1940

Safe Return by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 Undoubtedly one of the truly great Aces of the First World War, William Billy Bishop became celebrated for his technique of actively seeking out the enemy and bringing the fight to him, rather than the more usual practice of patrolling in search of enemy activity. An example of this was his single-handed attack on a German airfield in June 1917 when he destroyed not only a number of aircraft on the ground, but then successfully despatched another seven Albatross scouts that took off to engage him. For this action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross in August 1917 and his final tally when the war ended was 72 confirmed victories. He is depicted here in his Nieuport Scout B1566 in combat with a Pfalz D.III.

Captain William Billy Bishop by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £290.00
 Spitfires from 144 Wing RCAF 2nd TAF led by W/c Johnnie Johnson. Supplying air cover to a mixed force of 942 bombers over Normandy on Operation Goodwood, 18th July 1944. SR-Z of 101 (Special) squadron. Lancasters piloted by Flt Lt George Harris DFC.

Returning from Caen by Graeme Lothian.
Half Price! - £130.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

HMS Lion with her sister ship HMS Princess Royal are shown firing on the German High Seas Fleet which can be seen in the distance during the Battle of Jutland.

HMS Lion at the Battle of Jutland by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £95.00
  T class submarine HMS Thorn surfaces during the work up exercises off the west coast of Scotland in late 1941. Taking part is an escort sloop of the Black Swan class and a Sunderland from 201 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command.

Working Up by Robert Barbour.
Half Price! - £30.00
At 12.30pm on the 21st of October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson on board his flagship, HMS Victory, breaks the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets.  The Victory is delivering a devastating stern rake to the 80 gun French ship Bucentaure, the flagship of the combined fleets, commanded by Vice-Admiral P. C. J. B. S. Villeneuve.  Starboard to the Victory is the 74 gun Redoutable.  This ship, the Victory and HMS Temeraire, seen left, became locked together soon after, the unequal exchange resulting in the Redoutable having the highest casualties during the entire battle.

Breaking the Line at the Battle of Trafalgar by Graeme Lothian
Half Price! - £50.00
The Pedestal Convoy of August 1942 was one of the most heavily protected convoys in the history of sea warfare.  Fourteen of the fastest cargo ships of the time were protected by 4 carriers, 2 battleships, 7 cruisers and 32 destroyers.  The destroyer HMS Ashanti is in the foreground of the painting.  Also depicted are the carrier HMS Indomitable, with her Hurricanes cirling the convoy overhead, and the cargoe ship Port Chalmers to the right of the picture.

Pedestal Convoy by Anthony Saunders (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

HMS Celandine flower class corvette escorting Atlantic convoy in the middle distance the carrier HMS Biter is shown.
HMS Celandine by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
B216P.  HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman. Together with her sister ship, Hercules, HMS Colossus acquitted herself well at the Battle of Jutland where she fired 93 12in rounds, but received only two hits from enemy fire which caused minor damage and left nine crew injured.  She was sold for scrap in 1928.

HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £500.00
 Type 42 HMS Southampton (D90), Type 22 Beaver (F93), Type 42 Manchester (D95) and Type 21 Amazon (F169) formate during a World cruise on which they visited 17 countries in 9 months.

Around the World by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 The allied invasion of Normandy Operation Overlord was the greatest sea-bourne military operation in history. Key to its success and at the heart of the invasion were the Landings of the British 50th division on Gold beach and the Canadian 3rd Division on Juno beach. They provided a vital link between the landings of the British 3rd Division on Sword beach and the Americans on Omaha and Utah beaches. They were also crucial in securing the beachhead and the drive inland to Bayeux and Caen.
Glosters Return by David Griffin (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 The Battle of Solferino, fought on 24th of June 1859 was the last battle at which both armies were commanded by their monarch; the French army commanded by Napoleon III and his Allies Victor Emmanuel II and his Sardinian Army were victorious over the Austrian Army commanded by Emperor Franz Joseph.
Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
 M2A4 and M3 tanks of A Company, 1st US Marine Tank Battalion. move out from Henderson Field to support the perimeter from Japanese attacks.

Guadalcanal by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £295.00
  Trapped within a rapidly decreasing perimeter, the exhausted BEF along with elements of the French 1st Army appeared to be at the mercy of the mighty Luftwaffe.  No one though had reckoned on the brilliant leadership of Admiral Ramsay nor the gallant and unstinting efforts of the military and civilians who managed to rescue over 330,000 troops in nine days.

Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 The Mark IV Tank of Lt. F. MItchell MC, 1st battalion Tank Corps engages A7V tanks at Villers-Bretonneux, 24th April 1918.

The First Tank versus Tank Action by David Rowlands. (GL)
Half Price! - £280.00

 Churchill MkIV tank of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade (comprised of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards and 3rd Battalion Scots Guards), pass infantry of the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Battle for Caumont.

Operation Bluecoat, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April, 2011. Men of <i>The Highlanders</i> 4th Royal Regiment of Scotland, patrol through a flowering poppy field near Lashkar Gah.

Poppy Fields by David Pentland. (AP)
Half Price! - £85.00
Depicting Bonnie Prince Charlie leaving after his defeat in the Rebellion.

Lochaber No More by J.B. Macdonald.
Half Price! - £45.00
 Dawn. British artillery thundered, and the territorial soldiers 15th Scottish division stormed towards the German trenches defending the coal mining village of Loos. The gas cloud that preceded the Highland advance was pendulous and largely stationary due to a distinct lack of wind, and ,upon emerging from the smudgy gas, the highlanders were pelted with machine gun fire and shrapnel from the defending German batteries. Not to be denied, the Scots gritted their teeth, and with an officer shouting faster boys! give them hell! the highlanders charged straight at the defenses. The Germans, unnerved by the stubborn courage of their  kilted opponents, began to fall back through the village of Loos. The Camerons and the Black Watch, shouting their battle cry and charging down the main road of the village, then engaged the defending Germans in a series of savage battles for each and every house - hob-nailed boots, rifle butts, and bayonets being wielded with great enthusiasm by the vengeful Scots. By 8.00am the village was in Scottish hands.

Faster Boys - Give Them Hell! Loos, September 25th 1915 by Jason Askew. (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

PDB3.  Lenox Lewis II by Peter Deighan.
Lenox Lewis II by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £41.00
 Kentucky - born Steve Cauthen was just 12 years old when his father Tex finally agreed to help the single-minded young man realise a burning ambition to become a jockey provided he didnt let success make him big-headed.  No parental proviso was ever more faithfully fulfilled.  In the year of his seventeenth birthday the kid rode 487 winners of 6 million dollars, including the U.S. Triple Crown on Affirmed.  He went on to captivate British hearts two years later.  By 1984 he was champion. But better was to come. No wonder the fairytale ingredients of 1985 have fired the imagination and talent of Peter Deighan to such compelling effect.

The Golden Boy by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £60.00
 Marcus Gronholm.  Peugeot 206 WRC.
Reflections of a Champion by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £30.00
 Schumacher and Ferrari, the winning team.

Sea of Red by David Evans
Half Price! - £25.00

DH007. Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Half Price! - £12.00
 Ally McCoist of Glasgow Rangers and Scotland.  Produced to celebrate Scotlands most prolific goalscorer.  Super Ally became nothing short of a legend during his tenure with Glasgow Rangers of the Premier League.  It was not until Graeme Sounes took over as player manager of Rangers that McCoist really hit his stride and began to excel himself as the most prodigious goalscorer in the history of Scottish football.  Allys unprecedented career includes over 300 league goals for Rangers helping the club to 9 titles in a row, a Scottish Cup Winners medal, 2 UEFA Golden Boot awards, Scottish player of the year 91/92 and 61 Caps for his country resulting in 19 international goals.  Ally became one of Glasgow Rangers and Scotlands all time football heroes, and is now part of the Rangers coaching staff under Walter Smith.

Ally McCoist MBE by Scott Bridges.
Half Price! - £60.00
Saturday, 1 September, 2001.  Germany had only ever lost one World Cup qualifier at home in their history - but suddenly they were torn apart by an England team playing great attacking football  in Munich.  Coming from behind, Michael Owen blasted a stunning hat-trick, with Steven Gerrard  scoring England's 2nd and Heskey scoring the 5th goal, making the final score 5 - 1 to England.  This superb painting by Darren Baker shows Heskey celebrating his goal with a jubilant Owen and Beckham also celebrating.  <br><br>Germany: Kahn, Worns, Linke, Nowotny, Boehme, Hamann, Rehmer, Ballack, Deisler, Jancker, Neuville. <br><br>England: Seaman, G Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, A Cole, Barmby, Scholes, Gerrard, Beckham, Heskey, Owen.
England v Germany 5 - 1 by Darren Baker
Half Price! - £75.00
 On three occasions since their last Grand Slam in 1995 the England team had come within a whisker of completing another dream.  During this important build up towards the world cup England finally laid their ghost to rest.  After six years under the guidance of Head Coach Clive Woodward England, having beaten the big three from the Southern Hemisphere in a back-to-back series of matches at Twickenham, reached number one in the Zurich world ranking.  This Grand Slam, a wonderful achievement in itself, underlined Englands worldwide dominance.

2003 Grand Slam by James Owen. (Y)
Half Price! - £80.00

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